Since dropping out of the Premier League last season, Fulham have struggled to adapt to life in the second tier of English football and subsequently find themselves sat in a similar positional to Bolton in the table. Fulham's relegation provoked a huge re-shuffle at the club which saw their former stars such as, Brede Hangeland, John Heitinga and Steve Sidwell all depart Craven Cottage.
They were early promotion favourites after spending big on Ross McCormack from Leeds at the start of the season. Fulham splashed out an almighty £11m for the Scotsman, which made him the most expensive player ever in Championship history! After a poor run of results and a funny tale about Magath recommending Hangeland to treat his thigh injury with a block of cheese soaked in alcohol the German lost his job. Having taken just one point from their first seven games in the new campaign the former Bayern Munich manager was replaced by Kit Symons.
Symons has successfully guided Fulham off the foot of the championship, however similarly to the Wanderers, they have undergone the same fall from grace after famously making the Europa League final in 2010. After their 1.1 draw at the weekend at home to newly rejuvenated Birmingham City the Thames based club are 16th in the championship, just one place above the Trotters.
Head to head
The two teams last met in October, which proved to be Dougie Freedman's last in charge of Bolton Wanderers. His side were thrashed 4.0 at Craven Cottage with the goals coming from Rodallega, Amorebieta, Christensen and Hoogland.
When it comes to head to head the visitors have the upper hand. Fulham have won the last four meetings between the two sides, scoring 12 goals and conceding none. Fulham are unbeaten in the last five meetings at the Macron Stadium, winning two. Bolton's last win at home was 2-1 in the Premier League in February 2007 where goals from Gary Speed and Kevin Nolan helped Bolton's Champions League push.
Bolton have not won any of their last five games in all competitions, losing three. Their last win was 2-1 away at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship on 17 January so this has turned into a ‘must win' game to revitalise the club's season. If Neil Lennon's men are hoping to finish the season at the right end of the table then they will be hoping to continue their impressive form at home. Bolton are unbeaten in their last eight home games in the Championship, winning five. Their last league defeat at the Macron Stadium was 2-1 against Bournemouth on 4 October which was before Neil Lennon took the job.
A more positive stat is that Fulham have lost their last three away games in the Championship, a very good omen for the Wanderers. Despite this the first team squad has been plagued with injuries, and up to 9 first team players may miss the game.
Liam Trotter (thigh) and David Wheater (dead leg) are the latest two casualties after the duo limped off at half-time in Saturday's 4-1 defeat away at Derby.
Neil Lennon does not expect any of his other injured players to return so Adam Bogdan (ankle), Emile Heskey (hamstring), Matt Mills (knee), Max Clayton (ankle), Mark Davies (knee), Craig Davies (hamstring) and Darren Pratley (hamstring) all remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The Cottagers' injury problems are easing, however, Fernando Amorebieta (knee) and Tim Hoogland (hernia) are not expected to feature after only making their comebacks for the club's Under-21 side on Friday. Fellow defender Sean Kavanagh is also back in training after a month out with a knee injury although he is not back to full fitness.
After missing out on Saturday's draw against Birmingham City former England midfielder and current Fulham captain Scott Parker is a doubt, however his fitness and progression will be closely monitored.
Neil Danns is now eligible for selection after serving his one-game ban after he was sent off in Bolton's FA Cup Fourth Round Replay defeat against Liverpool at the Macron Stadium.
It is expected that new signing Saidy Janko will be named in the match day squad after there was a slight delay with his paperwork. Whites boss Neil Lennon confirmed that a paperwork error by United late on transfer deadline day had left the Swiss youth international ineligible for Saturday's defeat at Pride Park. Despite no official confirmation, we would expect to see Janko included in the squad.